Word of the Day

Monday, August 05, 2002


\pree-POTE-n-see\ , noun;
The quality or condition of having superior power, influence, or force; predominance.
(Biology) The capacity, on the part of one of the parents, as compared with the other, to transmit more than his or her own share of characteristics to their offspring.
The awesome prepotency of this smokescape is no illusion, for this is an epicentre of power, oil capital of the Western world and the most industrialised corner of the United States.
-- "Dark heart of the American dream", The Observer, June 16, 2002
Though Sir Tristram lost his record, his prepotency was reinforced at the Doomben races as three of the big race winners carry his blood.
-- "Sir Tristram loses record", Evening Post (Wellington, New Zealand), May 29, 2001
These several remarks are apparently applicable to animals; but the subject is here much complicated, partly owing to the existence of secondary sexual characters; but more especially owing to prepotency in transmitting likeness running more strongly in one sex than in the other, both when one species is crossed with another, and when one variety is crossed with another variety.
-- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
Prepotency is from Latin praepotentia, from prae-, "before" + potentia, "power," from potens, "able, powerful," present participle of posse, "to be able."
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